Physicians Hall Front

Medical College of Wisconsin Public Statement on Masks and COVID-19

Milwaukee, Aug. 6, 2020 – “Scientists, physicians and public health experts continue to learn about COVID-19 and how it is spread. We must use the limited tools we have today to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimize the damage it causes to individuals, our communities, and our economy,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. “Scientific evidence shows that when all people wear masks in public, transmission of COVID-19 is reduced. The virus is insidious, it doesn’t respect geographic boundaries, and we need to do everything possible to prevent its spread throughout our state. I strongly urge each of us to wear a mask in public as a simple and effective act to protect yourself and others.”

COVID-19 spreads most easily through respiratory droplets produced when people in close contact with each other cough, sneeze, or talk. Keeping a physical distance of six feet or more from others, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding places where many people are congregating are scientifically proven tools within our control to slow the spread of COVID-19. Recent scientific studies have shown that cloth masks are another important and effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and that cloth masks provide the greatest protection for all when they are worn by individuals in public places.

“This is a difficult time for all of us and our resilience continues to be challenged as the pandemic evolves," continued Dr. Raymond. "Small acts of kindness and empathy go a long way to help each other through this challenge.”

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